Show Review: My Morning Jacket Played “The Tennessee Fire” at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester NY

Show Reviews

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My Morning Jacket had not performed for over a year and a half when they announced their 2019 summer tour; two shows at Red Rocks and one show at Forest Hills Stadium in New York City. Rumors turned into fact when an additional show was added at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y. What made this show special was the band would celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the release of The Tennessee Fire by playing the album in its entirety along with other songs from that era.

There were fans from all over the country attending MMJ’s four performances. By far this performance was the most anticipated of the tour. The Tennessee Fire was recorded in 1999 in the small town of Shelbyville, Kentucky at the house of Jim James’ cousin’s grandparents. Jim James laid down his vocals in an abandoned grain silo! At the time Little Darla Records claimed MMJ was not just another alt-country band. Although the album will never be defined as “country” the band’s first release is a country influenced album filled with reverb by some kids from Kentucky. Nothing more, nothing less, and there is nothing wrong with that.

At almost exactly 8 P.M. the band hit the stage with “Heartbreakin Man,” followed by “They Ran.” It was obvious they would be playing the album track by track. What was also obvious was how much the band was enjoying themselves. By the fifth song “Old Sept Blues” it was obvious the album was being reworked. The band was stretching these songs out; countryfied psychedelia. Most songs clocked in over five minutes with “It’s About Twilight Now,” ”War Begun,” and “I Think I’m Going To Hell” stretched to over ten minutes. During many jams the band would gather facing the drum kit feeding off each others energy. James addressed the crowd dedicating “Evelyn Is Not Real” to the grandmother that allowed them to practice at their farm, stating how important friends and family were to the success of the band. What was also undeniable was the ecstasy of the fans. To most casual fans The Tennessee Fire is a somewhat obscure release. The fans at the Capitol Theater knew every word. There weren’t many “Chatty Cathys” at this show!

After concluding The Tennessee Fire the band’s four song encore capped off the show. Acoustic guitar in hand James began Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”  The sing-along classic was followed by the rarity “Weeks Go By Like Days”, which hadn’t been played since 2010. Next came a groovy soulful rendition of Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone”. Two and one half hours later the band concluded the show with “Tonight I Want To Celebrate”.

The show lived up to the hype. It seemed as though the band has been re-energized by their time off. In less than twenty four hours the band would complete their 2019 tour at Forest Hills. Rumors swirled of an upcoming album and tour in 2020. If this was any indication this “alt-country” band has a lot of gas in the tank.

1. Heartbreakin Man
2. They Ran
3. The Bear
4. Nashville To Kentucky
5. Old Sept Blues
6. If All Else Fails
7. It’s About Twilight Now
8. Evelyn Is Not Real
9. War Begun
10. Picture Of You
11. I Will Be There When You Die
12. The Dark
13. By My Car
14. Butch Cassidy
15. I Think I’m Going To Hell
16. Rocket Man (Elton John)

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